Campaign to add words to Human Rights Act returns to Idaho
After the "Add the Words" campaign failed to add protection for gays, lesbians and transgendered people into Idaho's Human Rights Act in recent years, two Idaho lawmakers went on a mission to make it happen. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
After the "Add the Words" campaign failed to add protection for gays, lesbians and transgendered people into Idaho's Human Rights Act in recent years, two Idaho lawmakers went on a mission to make it happen.
"We were going to go and talk with members of the State Affairs committees in both houses and other legislators and listen. Listen to what their issues and what their concerns were with this bill," says Boise Representative Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise).
Rep. Burgoyne says they did that, and now they may not be returning with a post-it note campaign, but they'll have a full hearing of House and Senate members to express what needs to be done.
"We'll be adding some words, some important language, to that Human Rights Act – ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’," says Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise).
Senator Buckner-Webb says Wednesday's hearing will be the first opportunity for a population with a vested interest in changing the bill.
"Bring a cadre of people from across the community that have seen the impact of having that kind of legislation in their communities, and what it will mean to the citizens of Idaho. It's a justice issue," she says.
According to Rep. Burgoyne, they're ready for the event because in the past -- any attempt to accomplish change to human rights act failed. He says he and Senator Buckner-Webb finished the process of listening to the concerns of lawmakers who disagree with them.
"We've done that, and now we have some things we would like to say, and the people in the community have some things they would like to say about the legislation," Burgoyne says.
Opponents of the bill say they don’t like the addition to the Human Rights Act because they believe it will create a special class of citizens with extra protection.
The listening session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20.